Social Networking Courtesy of: upgradereality.com

At one point or another we have all turned to our friends for help. Whether it’s a helping hand with moving, a recommendation for a movie or restaurant, or just a sympathetic ear, it’s our friends that we turn to first. This should be no different if you own a business and need to grow. Friends will often help promote your business to others through word of mouth, but may fall short by not spreading the word through social media channels. Businesses often establish a strategic plan for their search engine optimization, but fall short of considering the impact that a complimentary social media optimization campaign can have. In order to maximize the exposure friends can give a business, a solid social media optimization plan needs to be established that spurs friends into action on behalf of your business.

Any small business looking to gain a foothold in the online search world needs to learn to leverage their friends to help grow their business by encouraging them to help spread the world. Twitter posts, Facebook ‘Likes’, and positive reviews on websites such as Yelp and Citysearch all help to boost a company’s all-important search engine ranking. Search engines like Google and Bing are taking social circles and social sentiment into account more often when ranking and displaying search results. This is where the importance of friends come in. When your friends, or fans of your business, express a positive sentiment towards your business either in the form of a shared ‘Tweet’, Facebook ‘Like’, blog repost, or any other number of ways, Google and Bing take note and rank your business higher in their search results for your friends and friends of your friends.

What this means is that having a large social reach across various social media outlets, and reaching key “influencers” (friends or fans that not only have many friends but influence them to take action), is just as important  for your business to develop as SEO alone. Along with a comprehensive SEO plan, a business needs the ground work for a complimentary social media plan that makes use of social connections and all available social mediums. Not doing so is simply leaving money on the table.

With the bond between social media and SEO growing everyday, it’s becoming a must for any business wishing to maintain a strong foothold in search engine rankings to establish a social media plan and reach out to their friends and customers to help spread the word. Identifying key influencers, friends, and customers is key, as is motivating them to share information about your business, whether through incentives or simply a quality service. We all get by with a little help from our friends, and that should be no different in business. Establish a plan, reach out to your friends, and watch your rankings rise and your clientele grow.